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CEPA

CEPA

Since Supplement VII to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the Mainland has been gradually opening up its market to Hong Kong’s testing and certification industry:

a. Supplements VII and VIII to CEPA
b. Supplement IX to CEPA
c. Supplement X to CEPA
d. Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalization of Trade in Services in Guangdong
e. Agreement on Trade in Services
f. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation
g. Agreement on Trade in Goods
h. Designated Webpage of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA) on CEPA Implementation Details

a. Supplements VII and VIII to CEPA

Supplement VII to CEPA was signed between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in May 2010. It includes liberalization measures of the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) System and arrangements to help testing organizations in Hong Kong to become recognized testing organizations under international multilateral systems on mutual recognition of testing and certification that are open to national member bodies (such as the IECEE/CB system). These measures and arrangements became effective in January 2011.

Supplement VIII to CEPA was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in December 2011. Starting from April 2012, the measure allows, on the basis of Supplement VII to CEPA, testing organizations in Hong Kong to cooperate with designated Mainland certification bodies to undertake product testing for the CCC System for all existing products processed in Hong Kong that require CCC.

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b. Supplement IX to CEPA

Supplement IX to CEPA was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in June 2012. Starting from January 2013, the new measure expands, on a pilot basis in Guangdong Province, the scope of certification services that can be undertaken by Hong Kong testing organizations to cover food.

The Mainland has formulated an Implementation Guide for this liberalization measure. The Guide covers, among others, the applicable food-related certification schemes and the procedures for cooperation between Hong Kong testing organizations and Mainland certification bodies.

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c. Supplement X to CEPA

Supplement X to CEPA was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in August 2013. It includes expanding the scope of testing services for the purpose of certification that can be undertaken by Hong Kong testing organizations and in the participation of Mainland testing and certification activities, according the same treatment to relevant organizations set up in the Mainland by Hong Kong service suppliers.

The Mainland has formulated an Implementation Guide (measure on the movement of natural persons, other measures), which provides further details for the implementation of these liberalization measures. CNCA has published a list of certification bodies and their voluntary certification service scopes.

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d. Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalization of Trade in Services in Guangdong

The Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalization of Trade in Services in Guangdong (Guangdong Agreement) was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in December 2014. It includes measures allowing testing organizations in Hong Kong to cooperate with designated Mainland organizations to undertake testing of products in the 'audio and visual apparatus' category of the CCC system that are designed and prototyped in Hong Kong, as well as processed or manufactured in Guangdong Province. The scope of testing services that can be provided by Hong Kong testing organizations in the area of voluntary certification has been expanded to products manufactured or processed in Hong Kong or Mainland. Moreover, with respect to the mode of commercial presence, except for those inconsistent/inapplicable measures reserved as well as the measures on standards management, the Guangdong Agreement offers local testing and certification industry same treatment as the Mainland enterprises in terms of market access requirement in Guangdong Province.

The Mainland has formulated an Implementation Guide, which provides further details for the implementation of these liberalization measures.

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e. Agreement on Trade in Services

The Agreement on Trade in Services (The Services Agreement) was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in November 2015. In addition to introducing the new liberalisation measure of implementing, on a pilot basis, a mutual recognition arrangement of certification and relevant testing business among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, with a view to carrying out "certified once, tested once, and results accepted by three places", the Agreement covers and consolidates commitments (relating to liberalisation of trade in services and the testing and certification sector) provided in CEPA and its Supplements and also the Guangdong Agreement.

The Mainland has formulated an Implementation Guide, which provides further details of the above new liberalisation measure covered in the Services Agreement (FAQ).

In December 2018, by way of Exchange of Letters, the Mainland introduced a new liberalisation measure through amendments to the Services Agreement. It allows Hong Kong testing organisations to cooperate with designated Mainland organisations to undertake CCC testing on all products that are processed or manufactured in the Mainland that require CCC. The new measure will be implemented starting from 1 March 2019, and its implementation details will be announced in due course.

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f. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation

The Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in June 2017. New articles related to testing and certification include –

Article 23(7): to actively consider recommending an eligible certification body located in Hong Kong to join the International Electrotechnical Commission System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) as a National Certification Body (NCB) of China (Implementation Details); and

Article 23(8): to consider applications of eligible certification bodies set up by Hong Kong enterprises in the Mainland to become designated certification bodies under the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) system (FAQs).

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g. Agreement on Trade in Goods

The Agreement on Trade in Goods was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in December 2018. It contains several provisions on mutual recognition of testing and certification results between the two sides.

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h. Designated Webpage of CNCA on CEPA Implementation Details

CNCA has created a designated section on CEPA implementation details on its website. A directory of Hong Kong testing laboratories that have entered into cooperation agreements with Mainland certification bodies is available there.

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